Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Assault on BATS 13

Some of my oldest friends (those I've known the longest) and I started playing Star Fleet Battles back in high school.  It was the spring of '88 that I walked into Star Base Alpha (our then FLGS may it rest in peace) looking for baseball cards.  I had already been playing games starting with D&D in about '81 or '82, and discovering Napoleonics about '85.  Here was this really cool Star Trek game.  We loved it.  Sadly as we got older the time required became too much.  Lives and families got in the way of having 12 hours to play a scenario.  Then, a couple years ago came A Call to Arms Starfleet.  Not only was it our beloved SFU (Star Fleet Universe) but it used miniatures instead of counters.  We've never looked back.

This past weekend we got together for an all day big game.  I put together the scenario called Assault on Starbase 13.  It is the aftermath of operation Remus.  The MacArthur is down, and the coalition is scrambling as the Romulans viciously counter attack.  Battle Station 13, a Gorn supply an repair point has become a critical node for repairing Federation ships falling back from that pyrrhic victory.  The Romulans have become aware of this, and are out for blood.  A strong raiding squadron is sent to destroy as many crippled ships, and as much commerce as they can.  Any damage done to the BATS is a bonus.

The situation at the beginning of the game.  The freighters were scattered at random using an arrow die, as were the Gorn warships (except the green freighters - they are a military convoy holding station on the asteroid field).

The Gorns had five warships, a BCH, CC, BC, CL, and HDD, and were protecting 10 freighters.  The merchant group consisted of 4xFS, 4x FL, 2x FH, and one Large Armed Freighter.  Four of the ships were from the GMTC (Gorn Military Transport Command) and had added phaser-3s for self defense.

Docked to the BATS were the USS Yorktown (Constellation class CA), USS Wales (Texas class OCL) and the Gorn DN Reptillicon.  The Romulan player was expecting the Feds, but not the Reptillicon.

The Romulan player brought a 6 ship task force of all new Hawk class ships.  It included 1x Novahawk (portrayed for the day by a fasthawk mini), 2x Sparrowhawks, and 3x Skyhawks.

The Romulan player was allowed to split his forces however he wanted, and deploy within 6" of any table edge, but not within 6" of an enemy ship.

A peaceful patrol about to get "exciting".

The Romulan admiral chose to deploy in two groups.  The first consisted of 2/3s of his fleet led by the Novahawk.  Despite orders to trash as much shipping as possible and get out, the Romulan player decided he could cut back the Gorn firepower first to give himself more time to hunt civvies.  We shall see how this worked out.

BATS 13 goes on full alert.  As they crews scramble to get the damaged ships away from the spacedock, a Romulan prime team storms into the CIC.  In the ensuing firefight the base commander is killed, and the Romulans manage to sabotage the power feeds to the heavy phasers and plasma torpedoes.  The torpedoes are out for now, and the phasers are reduced in power to phaser 2s. 
This was a scenario thing.  I wanted to use my newly painted BATS (by ravenstar studios - link to be added in my favorites) but didn't want to overwhelm the Romulan with the phaser-4s on the base.  We did roll to see if the damage was repaired each turn (needing a 6).  It never was.

On the opposite flank a single Sparrowhawk and its attendant Skyhawk DD arrive.

The GMTC convoy, resolutely guraded by the Gorn Heavy Battle Cruiser and its own armed Large Freighter, The Striker.

The Gorn player asseses the dangerous situation.  In this picture (after movement for turn 1) the Skyhawk from the left Romulan group has broken off to chase freighters, while the MV Jacks or Better (the small red and white freighter bottom left) sees the last thing it ever will as a Sparrowhawk unloads heavy plasma into it leaving no time for escape pods.  In the upper right, the Gorn HDD was vaporized by plasma from two or three Romulan ships.

The last moments of "Jacks or Better".

The Sparrowhawk performs a victory roll while the Gorns swear revenge.

Meanwhile the Skyhawk chases down a large freighter of its own.  Just when the crew of Pandora's toybox thought they would get away the Romulan got a lucky critical that kept them from reaching the edge of the board. (they took an impulse critical from plasma, slowed to 8", but were 9" from escape).  As the crew hit the escape pods, the Romulan ship phasered their livelyhood to vapor.

Elsewhere, the Sparrowhawk, left on its own, comes under fire from long range Phasers of the Gorn CL and BC while the Striker doggedly tries to save GMTC F'Zalaoth.  They would succeed thanks to a successful IDF roll that allowed most of the Romulan plasma to be shot down.

On the other flank, the daisy chain of destruction begins.  Te Gorn CC (blue ship in upper right) took a pounding from the Sparrowhawk and Skyhawk for three turns, but doggedly stuck around thanks to some bad plasma rolls, and though crippled put some damage out until the BCH (upper right) was able to help.  In the exchange, the Romulans lost the Skyhawk escorting the Novahawk.
With its escort gone the Novahawk puts all power to engines in a bid to get to the crippled ships as they depart the station.  The MV Galaxy Mover sweats as she sees death looming.

Only to be saved as the Reptillicon and Wales get under way and prove a greater distraction.  The Gorn DN (a priority target) soaks up some damage from the Novas phasers.

The return fire from the DN, though lighter than normal, proves to be decisive.  The Novahawk, a lone wolf surrounded by a pack of hounds, is forced to disengage.  Not even the belated intervention by a Romulan controlled suicide freighter (a small freighter with a bomb inside capable of detonating for a DN size explosion) was able to turn the tide.
In the end the Romulans lost a skyhawk, and saw all three cruisers stripped of their shields in return for destroying a Gorn HDD, and three freighters.
The Gorns managed to see four freighters and the Wales off the board for light damage to the fleet.
A Gorn Victory!
I hope you all enjoyed reading.  Eric (Romulan), David (Gorn) and I (GM/Civvies/Feds) had fun playing it out.


  1. great battle report, always nice to see a fellow blogger with a great web site.